An impressive trio of speakers at last night's Social Capitalist Awards, started off with Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of DC School District who gave an impassioned critique of the state of public schools and related funding. Rhee was a social entrepreneur herself before entering the DC public school system, and transformed many urban public school systems through her work with The New Teacher Project and is trying to transform the DC public schools by challenging the assumptions. (wish she'd come to Philadelphia!)
Next up was Andrea Black, a former College Summit student and now Teach for America teacher (both groups are award winners...). She was absolutely inspiring and her story demonstrates the importance of not counting anyone out before they have even had a chance.
Adam Werbach, CEO of Act Now, who was featured in Fast Company last spring for his work with Wal-Mart's approach to Sustainability, delivered a speech about the importance of sustainability going beyond the environmental movement and recognizing connections to health and human well-being issues. (He missed his calling as a comedian.)
The list of awardees was also impressive, including some that we have featured on The Green Skeptic (DonorsChoose, Acumen Fund, Root Capital).
...and for the first year, a group of for-profit companies was selected...including Herman Miller, SustainAbility, and Domini Social Investments.
(Sorry no links or tags; will try to add later. Blogging by BlackBerry)
I was there with the GlobalGiving crowd and was incredibly impressed with Michelle Rhee. She was sometimes brutally frank about her struggles. She has an enormously tough job changing a system in a very emotionally charged atmosphere. Her drive and good humor were really inspiring.
Sorry I missed meeting you there, John.
I hope she (Michelle) doesn't get discouraged and can really make change. I got the impression she will be successful and, if she can't, no one can!
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